Newborn babies are one of the most beautiful gift life has to offer; The wonderful days of welcoming a new baby into the family are precious but, unfortunately, they pass quickly. As babies grow fast, already in a week they don’t look the same they did the week before. Therefore, it’s only fair to cherish those memories properly and capture the moments in professional-looking photographs. So, to make your newborn photography exceptional and allow you to cherish those memories for a lifetime we have put together eight tips that will help you bring out the best of the new family member.
Related Newborn Lightroom Presets:
Set the scene
Setting a scene is the first thing you should worry about when starting the newborn photography session. Before you start anything, have a chat with the parents and ask them what they are planning to do with the pictures you make. Having in mind that the pictures are going to be hang up in the hallway makes it easier for you to shoot and adjust them for that purpose right away, instead of dealing with it later on in Photoshop. It is best to do the session in the morning because babies tend to cooperate better in the early hours. Use different blankets and accessories as background for different shots. It is better to have your own set of baby stuff for the shoot rather than to improvise with what the parents give you.
Babies are tiny and very delicate and they also get sick easily. Therefore make sure you have an extra heater in the room if you are shooting in your studio – newborns are often photographed in diapers or naked so make sure they are warm. Have the mother feed them before the shoot but, even if they’re fed, you can expect feeding breaks to happen more than once. Lastly, make sure the spot where the session takes place is safe for the baby. Meaning, that the baby cannot fall or get injured during the process.
Have a backdrop
Having a backdrop ready to set up will make your job that much easier. A backdrop for the background helps keep the focus on the baby and makes the photos more high quality and professional-looking. Choose a black or white backdrop, depending on your preferences or even the preferences of the clients, and carry it with you to the shoot. Of course, along with the backdrop comes the rest of the equipment, including clips, the stand, etc.
Choose the photography type
There are two types of newborn photography, posed and lifestyle. Which type you’re going to be shooting depends on either your style or the parents’ requirements. The posed newborn photography type is usually done within the first two weeks of baby’s life. These photos are staged and the focus is kept on making them look perfect. These shootings can last longer because babies don’t feel like having their photos taken all the time. On the other hand, lifestyle newborn photography is more relaxed and spontaneous, with a more casual approach. Here, the focus is kept on creating more natural pictures of the newborn.
When shooting newborn photography, for best results set your aperture around f/2 and f/2.2 this will let in more light and also give a shallow depth of field which will help blur the background and other details, leaving the baby in focus.
Use the macro lens
Baby details are amazing and worth capturing but that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Choosing a macro lens allows you to get very close to the subject and shoot the tiny details. For the macro lens to focus properly and provide high quality, the baby has to be completely still while the photo is being taken. Since that is impossible to achieve with babies, the best time to use the macro lens is when the baby is asleep. Wait for the baby to fall sleep, or ask the mother for help at the ending of the session to take those macro shots you need and capture the details worth remembering.
Lighting is the key
As in every type of photography, the quality of the photos depends on the quality of the lighting on the set. However, there is a difference between newborn photography and other types of photography and that is the fact that you cannot use flash lighting with babies. Obviously, the flash would scare and upset the baby, which you don’t want to happen at all. Photographing a crying newborn is the last thing you want on the set. Therefore, try shooting near a source of natural light, such as a window. Again, morning is the best time for the session because there is plenty of natural light during that period. Avoid using direct flash lights around newborns, trust us, they don’t like that.
Experiment with angles
Our eight and final tip for newborn photography is to experiment with angles and perspectives. You don’t want to create all your shots from the same angle, as that will make them similar to each other and boring. Instead of limiting yourself, try changing the angle every few shots and even changing the whole perspective. By changing angles and the perspective you are creating different shots where it doesn’t look like the baby is in the same position the whole time. Changing the baby’s position often will upset the baby and, since you don’t want that to happen, it is easier for you to move around and set the camera the way you like.
With these eight tips, your newborn photographs should be high quality and professional-looking while the baby is going to remain happy. Remember to talk with the parents before the shoot, as that is possibly the most important of our eight tips. The last thing you want is to have them asking for changes after you’ve done the session. Make sure the baby is safe and warm at all times and do your magic with the camera set to around f/2 aperture.